The Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s net approval rating has dropped to -33%, according to Opinium’s latest political poll, as almost three fifths of UK adults (59%) say they disapprove of the job that he is doing (+6).
Change in leadership?
The public remain split on whether Johnson will lead the Conservatives into the next general election or not (44% vs. 42%). In fact, 57% (+2) think that Boris Johnson should resign as leader, with 31% (+3) thinking he should remain.
When asked what should happen before the next general election, almost two thirds (65%) think Johnson should resign as prime minister, including over two fifths (44%) of 2019 Conservative voters. 42% think he should resign now and 14% think he should resign once the situation in Ukraine has stabilised.
Almost a third (32%) expect Johnson to resign or be replaced at some point in 2022, while 13% think he will resign or be replaced in 2023, 10% think he will do so in 2024, and 14% after 2024.
However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s position as Johnson’s most likely successor has taken another blow with his net approval rating falling to a record low of -24. Just 26% approve of the job he is doing as chancellor (-2) while his disapproval rating rising to 35% (+1).
UK economy and household finances
When it comes to the outlook for the UK economy, three in five (60%) think the state of the UK economy will get worse over the next 12 months, compared to 20% who think it will stay the same, and 18% who think it will get better.
Similarly, people are pessimistic about their own personal finances, as 50% think they will get worse over the same period, while a third (32%) think they will stay the same, and 17% think they will get better.
When we ask people to describe their financial situation, 33% say “comfortable”, 47% say “coping” and 19% say “struggling”. This compares to 44% saying “comfortable”, 40% “coping” and 12% “struggling” when we asked this question before Christmas.
Rwanda asylum plan
Following the announcement of the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, voters were ambivalent with almost two fifths (38%) supporting this plan, and 32% opposing. However, more than half (52%) think the scheme would be a poor use of money, as only 29% think it would be a good use of money.
Adam Drummond, head of political and social research at Opinium said, “Boris Johnson has pointed to his government’s performance on the Ukraine crisis as a reason for Tory MPs not to change leader. But while his approval rating improved as the war began, this effect has now worn off.
“The Prime Minister’s approval rating is back in ‘suitcases full of wine’ territory and a large minority of Conservative voters think a fresh face should lead the party into the next election.
“Johnson is helped by the lack of an obvious successor but, while Rishi Sunak’s ratings have fallen significantly, No 10 should be far more worried by voters’ expectations for the economy and their personal finances over the next year.
“Nearly a fifth of voters describe their financial situation as “struggling” and that figure seems likely to increase.”